Blog RSS

WMC News: Latina Lesbians, Disability, Texas Abortion Laws, and WMC Live & More

June 29, 2016

Four Latina Lesbians Still Seeking Justice

| June 29, 2016

Deborah Esquenazi, director of "Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four"

In 1994, four women were sentenced collectively to over 75 years in prison for a crime they did not commit. It’s a story we’ve become all too familiar with—the unjust justice system that, for women and people of color, presumes guilt and demands innocence be proven.

Known as the San Antonio Four, the woman had three strikes against them besides their gender: they are Latina, they are lesbian, and they are poor.

By 2013, all four had been released from prison.

But they have yet to be exonerated.

Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four is the heart-wrenching new documentary about the story of these four women, now screening at film festivals across the United States. More>>

Image description: Deborah Esquenazi, director of "Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four"


Orlando: The Crossroads of Queerness and Latinadad

| June 23, 2016

Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

A few days passed after the shooting in Orlando that claimed the lives of 49 Latinx members of the LGBTQIA community, and I woke up still feeling sick and unable to speak. But as I rolled over onto my side to look at my phone, I saw I had gotten a text from my Abuelo that said he was thinking of me. He used every color heart emoji to make a rainbow. This is a man in his early 80s, going through his damn emoji keyboard to connect and offer support to his queer Boricua grandkid. It filled me with all the love and tenderness and rage in the world. Through this act of love, I was jarred out of my spell of silent restlessness, and I began to remember the teaching of Audre Lorde that is important for any marginalized person to hold close in the face of oppression: My silence will not protect me.

This is a moment in which it is essential that we speak about the crossroads of queerness and Latinidad. Being Latinx is not a monolithic experience by any means, but I can share some of my own. I grew up in some pretty conservative white suburbs in Virginia where it was a challenge to be POC (people of color) and survive without assimilation into whiteness. My Puerto Rican family abandoned Santeria for Catholicism and Christianity, so I was no stranger to the anti-gay rhetoric that comes with that. I mistakenly thought it was something that came with being Puerto Rican. I carried my queerness and fear with me as I would go to our family parties in Brooklyn, where it was all salsa and smooth swivels. I was never quite able to let go of the internalized contradictions of my identity, never quite able to dance. More>>

Image description:Fist painted with colors of the rainbow with heart on the wrist. Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images


Disability: A Major Hurdle On the Migration Route for Women Refugees

A sick girl lies in a UNICEF-supported health center in a refugee camp in Central African Republic. But many women and girl refugees lack access to this kind of health care. (Pierre Holtz/UNICEF)

| June 29, 2016

The woman looked uneasy and uncomfortable as she peered outside her tent into the darkness. All she could see was an empty stretch with a few bushes, where men were taking turns to urinate. There was nothing—no facilities—available for women.

This was the situation nine months ago at the border of Serbia and Hungary, when I visited a refugee camp where men, women, and children were stuck for days. Unfortunately, not much has changed since then, and for one hidden segment of refugee society, life is even harder than this.

Sanitation is a huge problem for all refugees, but the issue and so many others are massively multiplied for women refugees who are disabled. More>>

Image description: A sick girl lies in a UNICEF-supported health center in a refugee camp in Central African Republic. But many women and girl refugees lack access to this kind of health care. (Pierre Holtz/UNICEF)


What the SCOTUS Abortion Decision Means— And Why It Matters

The Supreme Court actually ruled in favor of choice.

| June 27, 2016

On March 2nd, the Supreme Court heard the case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which has been called the most important abortion case heard in this generation’s lifetime. Today, on June 27th, the Court ruled to invalidate Texas abortion restrictions in a 5-3 decision.

But what exactly does this case, and this ruling, mean? Because we still don’t live in an educational climate in which young women receive an in-depth education about crucial things like reproductive rights in school, here’s the run-down on what this Supreme Court case was really about, why it matters, and where we’re going from here. More>>

Image description: Supreme Court with caption "The Supreme Court actually ruled in favor of choice."


WMC Live #173: Rita Dove, Jessica Ladd, Daisy Kahn. (Original Airdate 6/25/2016)

Robin on the gun vote, HRC's and Trump's staffs, repro-rights breakthroughs, and gravitational waves. Guests: Rita Dove, former U.S. Poet Laureate; Jessica Ladd's solution to campus rape; Daisy Khan on Muslim feminism (and voter registration!). To listen >>


This week WMC SheSource features experts on the Supreme Court ruling against Texas abortion laws, the Supreme Court ruling on domestic abusers losing gun ownership rights, Brexit’s effect on the world’s economy, the West Virginia floods, and Turkey and Israel resuming diplomatic ties.

Sign up to receive regular emails highlighting women experts to speak on newsworthy issues.  


The views expressed in this commentary are those of the authors alone and do not represent WMC.

WMC is a 501(c)(3) organization and does not endorse candidates.

To support women journalists who are changing the conversation, donate to the WMC: